As of today, it has been 17 years since two Boeing colleagues, whom I will call Roger and Ted, and I traveled on Boeing business to Salt Lake City to spend a few days working at the small Boeing engineering office there. We had flown in the previous day, 10 September, and spent that day walking around the city, four-wheeling around the rough terrain surrounding the Lake, taking a hair-raising drive up into the front range of the Wasatch Mountains, visiting the Mormon Tabernacle, and strolling around Park City, before going to dinner at a local steak house. Next morning, 11 September, I turned on the TV in my room to watch the news as I got dressed. I was mildly surprised at being greeted by what appeared to be a picture of the World Trade Center towers burning. I say only “mildly surp
In light of recent events in Charlottesville, VA, and the arrant display of cowardice on the part of Donald Trump and his Administration in dealing with it, this "Skeptic's Collection" column from late 2014 -- which now seems like several Eternities ago -- is even more relevant now than when it was originally published. I have only changed the title slightly.
I recently wrote a “Skeptics Collection” post in which I severely criticized a certain variety of contemporary Islam for being historically retrogressive, among other reasons, because of its militant religious triumphalism, its melding of political and military power with religious authority, and its hostility to any kind of critical stance toward Islamic history, sacred literature,
I am learning – the hard way – to get knee-jerkingly suspicious every time someone mentions the phrase “moral equivalency” – and certainly when anyone attempts to employ moral equivalency in arguments. I suppose there are occasions when that term, and that rhetorical tactic, are justified, but I have not encountered any examples lately, least of all examples in real life. In fact, I would even make bold to say that at least 90% of the time – and I mean for that number to be interpreted quite literally – entities and acts that are said to be “morally equivalent” are anything but. Most of the time “morally equivalency” could be more accurately rephrased as “moral imbecility”. Two examples leap to mine immediately.
President Trump – two words that make about as much sense when us